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Have a nice day
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished building up a Nashbar Touring Frame as a light- to medium-tourer. I bargain shopped for parts, starting with the frame. I got it for $162 thanks to a sale and coupon codes. The rest of the parts came as I found good deals; some were online sales, and some were take offs or discounted parts from the LBS. I definitely cut corners on a few items, but OTOH I can't say it's any more compromised than any new light-tourer or plush bike I might have bought pre-built. Not counting my time (which is free, because my time is worthless :D ) I feel confident that I built this bike for less than I could have bought it. I also learned a lot in the process.

The specs:

Nashbar aluminum touring frame
Easton bar and stem
Cane Creek S3 headset
FSA BB
105 STI 9-spd levers
Deore LX RD/FD
SRAM PG-970 cassette (11-32)
Nashbar trekking crank (28-48)
Sun CR18 rims (32H) and Deore hubs
Panaracer Pasela Tourguard 32c tires
Tektro cantilevers
Ascent carbon seatpost
Brooks B-17

It's a little slow and heavy but it should be a great bike for banging around town and light touring; certainly better than my mountain bike anyway. Sorry for the 640x480 pics; I'd have a newer digital camera but I've been spending all my money on bike parts :thumbsup:
 

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BS the DC
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Nice build. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Have a nice day
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5,878 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
jordan said:
Great bike!Give us a ride report-any issues with the Nashbar crank or FSA bb?I was thinking about getting one.Thanks-Jordan.
Thanks! I only finished it last evening and just did some short errand rides around town with my son. I will do some more extensive riding this weekend. Briefly I can report that the geometry is very relaxed, and the ride is surprisingly smooth given the aluminum frame. My tire and seat choices probably help there. I have purposely run it on some semi-rough terrain and it didn't miss a beat. I wanted a road bike riding position and pedaling efficiency, but I didn't want something with which I would fear straying off a paved shoulder.

I have had a setup issue with the Nashbar trekking crankset (48/38/28). Nashbar's web site says to use a 68x113 or 68x118 BB with this crank. I asked a tech at Nashbar for clarification and they recommended a 68x113 so that's what I ordered. However I found that the 68x113 BB was too narrow; the crank was simply too far inboard to work with the FD. So I found a 68x118 FSA bottom bracket at a LBS (selection was limited). Now the crank aligns much better with the derailleur, although adjusting the derailleur has been challenging. I can only get it to shift well with two of the three rings. It is as if the LX derailleur doesn't have quite enough range of movement to support the width of this crank. I am frustrated and will probably make an appointment with my LBS to have them play with it; currently I have it adjusted to work with the middle and large rings, and that's good enough for now.
 

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"It's alive!"
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1,454 Posts
Very nice! I see from my handy dandy Crashbar catalog that the frame came with the fork included. What a deal!!!

One word of warning. That FD might not work well with those 105 brifters (shift levers). I tried to run an XTR front derailleur with Sora brifters, and found out that the throw on Shimano road shift levers does not match the lever-arm length of Shimano ATB front derailleurs, so the front derailleur position did not line up properly. I swapped the XTR for a 105 FD, and everything works dreamily now.

Have fun with it!

- FBB
 

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Have a nice day
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the tip FBB. Will a 105 FD work with the 28/38/48 crank?

All totalled I probably spent ~$1000. I haven't added it all up yet, but I literally had to buy everything (no parts laying around beforehand). The only assembly thing I had the LBS do was install the headset. I bought the headset through them (cheaper than Nashbar too) and they only charged me $10 for the installation. Everything else I did myself. Arguably I could have bought a Jamis Aurora for ~$800 and had a very similar bike. But my wife was less likely to freak out about $100 here and $200 there, as opposed to dropping $800-1600 all at once. ;)

Ultimately, I knew up front I wasn't going to save money by building it myself. I wanted to learn more about bike maintenance and I figured it would be a fun challenge, which it was.
 

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"It's alive!"
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undies said:
Thanks for the tip FBB. Will a 105 FD work with the 28/38/48 crank?
I think a 105 triple FD would work fine. Given that it is designed for a 52T big ring, you should make sure to set it up as close to the top of the chainring teeth as possible - no more than 1mm clearance. But you should probably ride what you got first, just to make sure that my original advice applies to the equipment you've already got. Unless you are planning on returning your FD, in which case you want to keep it unused...

undies said:
But my wife was less likely to freak out about $100 here and $200 there, as opposed to dropping $800-1600 all at once. ;)
Story of my life, my brother, story of my life.

- FBB
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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Do you really need all those spacers? If so, and if it were me, I might have considered a larger frame size.
 

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Have a nice day
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5,878 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Mr. Versatile said:
Do you really need all those spacers? If so, and if it were me, I might have considered a larger frame size.
I don't really know yet. I figured I could start out with a long steerer tube and cut it down later if need be. My initial impression is that I'm going to want a shorter stem with more rise.

Unfortunately I have kind of a weird body shape with a relatively long torso, so bike fit is a challenge. I am 6'3" with only a 33" inseam. This frame is 58cm and I am pretty much at the limit for standover height already. Anything taller would be problematic for day-to-day use.
 

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I am not aero
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304 Posts
Let us know how it rides

After you've put in some miles, I'd like to hear how you like it. I'm wanting to start commuting and have been considering a similar (inexpensive) build. I've got an old (circa 1989) Nashbar touring frame that would work, but it's steel so it weighs a ton (30+ lbs. built up), it takes 26" wheels, and to top it off, the brake studs in back are positioned for U-brakes (too high to use cantilevers). I've been thinking that the best approach might be to save as many parts as possible off the old bike and get a newer frame and a set of 700c wheels, then fit it with fenders and a rack.
 

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"It's alive!"
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baking3 said:
After you've put in some miles, I'd like to hear how you like it. I'm wanting to start commuting and have been considering a similar (inexpensive) build. I've got an old (circa 1989) Nashbar touring frame that would work, but it's steel so it weighs a ton (30+ lbs. built up), it takes 26" wheels, and to top it off, the brake studs in back are positioned for U-brakes (too high to use cantilevers). I've been thinking that the best approach might be to save as many parts as possible off the old bike and get a newer frame and a set of 700c wheels, then fit it with fenders and a rack.
Sounds like you've got the an old Nashbar mountain bike frame, if it takes 26" wheels and is set up for a U-brake. I could be wrong. Is it lugged or TIG welded?

Either way (ATB or touring frame), that sounds like it would make a really good commuter frame. It would be nice and sturdy, and not something that screams "STEAL ME!!!" from half a mile away. Find a U brake on eBay, build up a nice, light-yet-sturdy set of wheels with high PSI slicks and you are good to go! As a bonus, you could give the frame a horrible, multi-color rattle can paint job to further deter theft, and you would not even feel bad about it!

Put on a rack and some panniers for commuting. Then add lights and fenders. Throw a beefy U-lock on the rear rack. When all is said and done, you won't even notice a couple extra pounds of frame weight.

Just My 2 Cents,

- FBB
 

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I am not aero
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definitely a tourer

It's definitely a tourer, sold as a complete bike by Nashbar in 1989 (I'm the original owner). I guess they were trying to use stock MTB parts to keep costs down and it ended up being an odd bag of parts from 1989 :p . Your suggestion is my other option (the cheaper one), and since it was my first "real" bike, I'm kind of inclined to keep it - I even already bought some orange spray paint. Oh, and it's lugged BTW.

fbagatelleblack said:
Sounds like you've got the an old Nashbar mountain bike frame, if it takes 26" wheels and is set up for a U-brake. I could be wrong. Is it lugged or TIG welded?

Either way (ATB or touring frame), that sounds like it would make a really good commuter frame. It would be nice and sturdy, and not something that screams "STEAL ME!!!" from half a mile away. Find a U brake on eBay, build up a nice, light-yet-sturdy set of wheels with high PSI slicks and you are good to go! As a bonus, you could give the frame a horrible, multi-color rattle can paint job to further deter theft, and you would not even feel bad about it!

Put on a rack and some panniers for commuting. Then add lights and fenders. Throw a beefy U-lock on the rear rack. When all is said and done, you won't even notice a couple extra pounds of frame weight.

Just My 2 Cents,

- FBB
 

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i thought the nashbar touring frame was a good buy but i ultimately went with a trek 520 to replace my jamis touring bike because i am just not sure about the aluminum frame and long distance loaded touring.
 

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Have a nice day
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5,878 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ultimately, buying a new bike like the Trek 520 is a path of far less resistance (and not much more money) than what I followed. I approached this whole project like it was a bicycle repair/maintenance clinic, at the end of which I'd have a bike to ride :)
 

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Bacon!
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I think you made the right choice. That was by far the funnest way to figure out how to work on a bike! I've done it on an MTB but never a Road bike yet. My wife won't quite let me spend anything so I'm still working on it.
 

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I'm curious about those wheels

did you buy the wheel parts separately, or what? I've noticed some CR18's on ebay recently and wondered about them, specifically how beefy they are, how they build up, how they hold up, the usual. You are obviously a large man :), as opposed to myself at 5'9". Would those rims be overkill for my commuter? Thanks for your thoughts.

Sky.
 
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